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Stephen V. Smith

Stephen V. Smith

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For more than a decade, Stephen V. Smith has exclusively served as a powerful advocate for his clients, guiding both men and women through difficult divorces and complex family issues. Often the best approach for a client is non adversarial which includes mediation and settlement. However, this requires both parties to agree on a compromise. Unfortunately, because emotions run high in this area of the law, many cases must proceed to court to be resolved. 

Stephen's tough, savvy approach to litigation coupled with his dedication to his clients has enabled him to best achieve his clients' goals and safeguard their interests, whether he is dealing with complex matrimonial issues, custody cases, or other family law matters. Stephen's deep commitment to his clients enables him to serve them in a more powerful way, fighting to protect their interests as if each of their cases were about his own family.

During perhaps the most difficult time in a person's life, Stephen's guidance through the divorce process is one of compassion as well as a straight forward legal analysis of each of the issues in a client's case. This allows his clients the opportunity to understand the law as it applies to them and to make well informed decisions about how to best proceed with their case.

Stephen V. Smith is intimately familiar with the divorce process, not only from advocating for clients every day for over 10 years, but also because he himself has been divorced. Attorney Smith represented himself in his own divorce and contentious custody battle before he became an attorney more than 12 years ago. It was during this difficult time that Stephen realized what a dramatic impact a good divorce attorney can have on people's lives, particularly children's lives. His passion for family law was born.

Over a decade later, Stephen has successfully litigated hundreds of contentious divorce, custody, domestic violence, child/spousal support, and high asset division cases in San Diego. He has become familiar with the tendencies of individual judges in each of the county's courthouses and learned to tailor an effective court room presentation accordingly. Stephen's reputation in the community with fellow attorneys and judges in unrivaled. His litigation style has been described as appropriately aggressive and relentless.

Stephen V. Smith is not only a veteran of the family courts, he is also a combat veteran of the United States Navy. While serving in the Desert Storm campaign, his ship (USS Tripoli) was struck by a five hundred pound floating mine. Stephen was awarded the Combat Action Ribbon and honorably discharged. Stephen's background in the military has motivated him to learn all military specific issues related to divorce and provide superior representation at a discounted price to all military members. Over the past ten years, Stephen has successfully represented hundreds of military members and veterans.

After his military service, Stephen V. Smith worked his way through college as a single father with primary custody of his young daughter. Stephen graduated with a Bachelor Degree in political science from the University of California, San Diego and a Juris Doctorate Degree from California Western School of Law. In 2017, after many years as a senior associate at one of San Diego's top family law firms, Stephen founded SMITH FAMILY LAW. Stephen eventually remarried and now enjoys spending all of his free time with his wife, son (9) and daughter (6).


  • California Western School of Law, San Diego, California
    • J.D. - 2002
  • University of California, San Diego, California
    • B.A. - 2000
    • Major: Political Science

Bar Admission

  • California, 2005

Pro-Bono Activities

  • San Diego Volunteer Lawyers Program-Domestic Violence Clinic, 2009 to 2011

Past Positions

  • Dunne & Dunne, LLP, Managing Associate, 2012 to 2017
  • Edmunds Law Firm, Associate, 2011 to 2012


  • English
  • Spanish

Professional Associations

  • California Bar Association - Family law section, Member
  • San Diego Bar Association - Family law section, Member